Band Club Sydney players to go on
Despite the sponsor’s decision to make substantial changes to the Grade 1 Band Club Sydney, members of the group, including Pipe-Major Scott Nicolson and Leading-Drummer Dougal McConnell, contend that it will carry on, with plans to attend the 2009 World Pipe Band Championships and other competitions unchanged.
In a statement to pipes|drums, “The reports of our demise have been grossly exaggerated. While our principal sponsor, The St Marys District Band Club Limited, has indicated they are withdrawing financial support for international travel and competition, the band [is] committed to staying together and building on the momentum gained over the last four years.”
A meeting will be held in Sydney on Monday, December 8th, at which the situation would be discussed between band-members and sponsors.
“Due to incorrect information, apparently promulgated by misinformed former playing member(s), the band now feels it necessary to respond,” the statement continued.
The band has secured accommodation at the University of Strathclyde for its 2009 trip to Glasgow, and, again according to the statement, “members have intimated their desire to stay together and continue in competition.”
Efforts to gain new sponsorship and “an aggressive fundraising campaign” have commenced.
“We look forward to informing the pipe band world of a positive outcome,” Nicolson said. “In the meantime, all band members would like to thank the St Marys District Band Club Limited for the generous support over a long number of years.”
The developments are reminiscent of the changes to the Grade 2 Robert Malcolm Memorial II Pipe Band (RMM) in 2006. After being promoted to Grade 1, RMM’s parent organization, Simon Fraser University, decided to try to keep the band in Grade 2, whereupon the entire group decided to break away from the SFU system, merging with the Grade 3 Triumph Street Pipe Band, taking on the new name as a Grade 2 band. Triumph Street was then promoted to Grade 1 after the 2007 season.
Remaining RMM members subsequently merged with the Grade 2 Maple Ridge Pipe Band.